In mid-November, Goldman Sachs released its much-anticipated annual list of employees invited to join the firm as partners in the year ahead.
Among those promoted was Princeton BCF alumnus Anne-Victoire Auriault, who graduated from Princeton BCF’s Master in Finance program in 2012. One of 60 employees in Goldman’s Partner Class of 2020, Auriault not only made partner in one of Goldman’s smallest partner classes in recent decades, but also became one of the youngest women to ever make partner at Goldman.
In her time at Princeton, Auriault struck all who knew her as a trailblazer in the making–so we weren’t surprised to see her name on the list. Still, her promotion inspired us to reach out and learn more about her career since she graduated eight years ago.
In this short interview, Lindsay Bracken, BCF’s Manager of Career Development, Alumni Relations, and Corporate Affiliates, talks to Auriault about her career path since graduating in 2012.
If you’re a Princeton BCF alumnus who’s reached a milestone in your career, we’d love to hear from you. Reach out to Bracken (firstname.lastname@example.org) to stay in touch and tell your story.
Bracken: First, congratulations on your promotion! The accomplishment was surely the result of many years of hard work. How did it feel to get the call?
Auriault: At Goldman Sachs, the cross-ruffing process is completely opaque to the candidate. You basically have no idea if you were up for partner, if you were eliminated in the first rounds or if you made it. That certainly makes the call a very special moment! David Solomon called me at 9:07AM and I will remember our conversation for a long time. If I have one regret, it is that it happened while we were all working from home. When the calls are received on the trading floor it creates a very unique atmosphere!
Bracken: Looking back on your career as a whole, what were some of the biggest challenges you overcame to get to this point? What challenges, road blocks, or decision points were most unexpected?
Auriault: I find it hard to single out a few punctual challenges. A career at Goldman is like running a marathon. You need to perform consistently over the long-run. There are good and bad PnL days, there are exciting days, stressful days and quiet days, and through it all you need to be there and maintain excellence and reliability. I believe that is the biggest challenge to being successful in my line of work.
Bracken: It’s been about 8 years since you graduated from Princeton with a Master in Finance. Can you tell us more about why you decided to pursue a Master in Finance? Why did you choose Princeton BCF?
Auriault: Princeton is universally regarded as one of the best, if not the best, MFin programs in the world. I particularly liked its small class size and “a la carte” features. They allowed me to focus on the areas that made the most sense for me. Specifically, coming from a French engineering school I had a strong background in the more technical aspects of Finance but was lacking practical knowledge of the field. I fondly remember the terrific MFin alumni speaker series!
Bracken: What advice do you have for current Master in Finance students as they look toward the next step in their career?
Auriault: Besides my previous answer regarding performing consistently over the long-run, I would add: be personal and pursue objectives that are good fit for you. Sometimes it means picking a path that is not the trendy one. I am always surprised to see entire cohorts of students all wanting to work in the exact same niche role and how quickly the trend changes from one year to the next. What’s hot now might not be in just two years, so pick something you truly like and will be good at!